Local Instructors

Andrea (Andie) Gill
Instructor, Workshops Coordinator, and Hep Cats founding member

 

After a few workshops in Hilo with visiting swing instructors in 2000 and 2001, Andie was having tons of fun Lindyhopping...but there was a small problem--no regular swing dancing in Hilo!  The best solution was to establish the Hilo Hep Cats, along with co-founders Rachel Klein and Shane Stafford.  Since then, Andie has brought respected international instructors in Lindy, Balboa, Blues, Charleston and other swing styles to Hilo and continues to dance, perform and teach with the Hep Cats. 

Workshop Instructors
 

Lucky Skillen
Europe-USA • https://luckyskillen.com

Through the magic power of his huge smile, Lucky Skillen brings dancing joy wherever he goes. Lucky started dancing in 1996 and began teaching in 1998. Since then he has taught and performed many styles of dances in Asia, Europe, and North America. He has also had the privilege of working with such celebrities as Neil Young, Kevin Bacon, Kyra Sedgwick, Katie Holmes, and Frankie Manning. Lucky teaches a wide variety of dance classes in which he creates a fun and playful atmosphere. He believes that play is learning and learning is fun!

Currently Lucky spends about nine months out of the year touring and teaching across Europe and the United states. The three months that he is not traveling he work with the Dancing Classrooms Program in NYC teaching inner city kids how to ballroom dance.

For More Info... go to luckyskillen.com

 

Andrew Sutton

Sacramento, CA • https://dance.danceninjas.com

Andrew Sutton is the 2nd place World Lindy Hop Champion of 2002. He resides in California, teaching and competing worldwide. Andrew is dedicated to finding fun and inventive ways of teaching connection and effective lead/follow techniques. Andrew's Smooth Savoy Swing workshop has been held nearly every year in Hilo since 2005. Click his name above to download instructional video clips featuring Andrew Sutton and other great dancers! Each clip teaches you one dance move, and there are moves for both leads and follows. New moves and instructors are always being added. Each clip costs between $0.99 and $1.99. Styles include Lindy Hop, Charleston, Balboa, Bal-Swing and Tap. Contact iDance.net: info@idance.net.

 

David Rehm

Boston, MA • https://www.facebook.com/davidrehm

 

David Rehm is a geek-turned-professional-dancer specializing exclusively in the partnered swing dances, Lindy and Balboa, and widely considered one of the top Balboa dancers and instructors in the world. He is regularly featured teaching and judging at the most prestigious events dedicated to those dances throughout North America, Europe and Asia. In addition to numerous awards, in 2006 David captured both the American and European Balboa titles (with different partners) by winning the American Classic Balboa Championship and the Euro Bal Cup. He is also the creator of The Experiment, "the world's most intimate and intensive Balboa workshop", as well as the founder of the Northeast Balboa Corridor (NEBC) project. David is best known for his ability to capture both broad thematic abstractions and technical details all in the form of conceptual principles.

 

"David has taught workshops in Hilo in 2006, 2007, and 2009, and again in 2012 with Kate Hedin.  

 

Ted Maddry

San Francisco, CA • http://tedmaddry.com

 

As a teacher, Ted Maddry has helped thousands of students improve their dancing and sometimes even their lives. In his classes, he will challenge you to develop dance technique, experiment and take risks in your dancing all the while maintaining a comfortable & entertaining classroom environment. Ted is also the Ringleader of Beyond Blues, a cornerstone of Blues Dance in San Francisco. Ted actively works with a great team to spread his love of Blues Dance around the Bay Area and to develop Camp Blues as the very best way to learn social dance quickly

 

Marcus Koch and Bärbl Kaufer
München, Germany • http://www.worldofswing.com/

 

International swing dance champions Marcus Koch and Bärbl Kaufer have brought their inimitable energy to Hilo every year since 2003! Click on their names above to read their bio, see their schedule, contact Marcus and Bärbl, and buy their instructional videotapes and DVDs online.

 

Lisa Clarke & Fabien Vrillon
Grenoble, France • (Needs Contact)

 

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Campbell Miller
Austin, TX  • http://www.campbellandchris.com/​

 

Campbell loves living in Austin, where she teaches social dance courses celebrated to be the most popular on the UT campus. Her approach fosters an appreciation for fusion by drawing connections between the varied styles she has studied--some of her favorites being lyrical, waltz, lindy hop, and tap. While her warmth and patience create an inviting atmosphere for all levels of students, she carefully challenges them to realize their full potential.

 

Chris Mayer
Austin, TX  • http://www.campbellandchris.com/​

 

Chris is known in the Blues dance community for his musicality, creativity, and fun-loving spirit. A self-proclaimed Lindy Hop addict until he found Blues in 2006, Chris was drawn into Blues by its unique freedom of expression. Since then he has created a style of his own, with influences from Tango, Ballroom, and everything in between. Chris loves the challenge and camaraderie of national Blues competitions - give him any song and any partner, and he's going to have fun. He is adored by students everywhere from Hawaii to Heidelberg, and his teaching and dancing can be summed up best by this quote: "Technique? Check. Fun moves? Check. Playful attitude? Check!" 

 

Jenna Applegarth & John Tigert
Nashville, TN • JennaApplegarth.com  and  JonTigert.com 

 

Jenna Applegarth first started dancing when she was still in diapers. She began swing dancing some many years later, luckily no longer in diapers. Jenna continues to expand her dancing repertoire and share her love and knowledge of these dances with others. Although she enjoys pretty much any type of dancing and music you can move to, her first love is Lindy Hop. Her energy and passion create the perfect environment for learning, creating challenging yet applicable lessons.

Jenna has attended, coordinated, and taught various workshops and exchanges all across the globe. Above all else she believes that learning to dance should be fun. With over 10 years of teaching/coaching experience, she loves finding new ways to connect with other dancers on the floor and in the classroom.

 

Jon Tigert is an internationally recognized professional  Dancer, Choreographer,  and Instructor in the Swing Dance community. As a teacher, Jon specializes in Lindy Hop, Charelston, Balboa, Blues, and Tap. Jon has performed all over the world, including with the Indianapolis and Cincinatti Symphony Orchestras as a featured artist. Based out of Nashville, Jon can often be found travelling the globe spreading his love of Swing to all of his students.

 

Anna Whitmire
Houston,TX • (Needs Contact)

Anna Whitmire, an award-winning dancer, performer and instructor, taught a Lindyhopper's Weekend in Hilo, January 12-14, 2007, emphasizing creativity and fun styling. 

 

Solomon Douglas
Sydney, Australia • http://solomondouglas.com/

Solomon Douglas is recognized the world over as an exponent and teacher of Lindy Hop, Blues Dancing, and related dance styles of African-American origin (such as the Charleston and Vernacular Jazz). He began teaching dance in 1999, and he has taught dance workshops all over the United States, Canada, the British Isles, Australia, and Asia. Nowadays, he is better known as a swing and blues musician, bandleader, and recording artist than as a dance teacher; his bands have performed at dance events all over the United States and Canada, as well as in Australia and South Korea. The Hep Cats' hosted Solomon and Mia Goldsmith in June 2004; Solomon returned in November 2005.  His third workshop, with Destiny Vigil, is October 2013. 

 

Amanda Gruhl
Boston, MA • (Needs Contact)

 

Amanda has been dancing since the age of five. Experienced in dance instruction, choreography, performance, and show production, she has studied blues dance, lindy hop, jazz, ballet, tap, contemporary, hip hop, ballroom, and many other dance forms. Amanda has been dancing, choreographing, and competing in blues dance since 2000 and teaching blues dance since 2003 throughout the U.S. and Europe with various partners - most notably Ogden Sawyer, Shawn Hershey, and Chris Mayer.  She has taught at most major blues events and workshops, including BluesSHOUT!, Austin Blues Party, Mile High Blues, Emerald City Blues Festival, Blossom Blues, Fallin' In Blues, and many others. Her style of blues dance combines a strong connection to her partner, creative improvisation to the music, and elements from many of the different dance styles she has studied.  This has given her a reputation as an incredibly versatile and inspiring blues dancer. Amanda has an amazing passion for teaching, and is known for being clear, knowledgeable, friendly, and encouraging with her students.

 

Joel and Alison Plys
San Diego, CA •  http://www.swingdancingsd.com/

 

Joel and Alison Plys of 2PlySwing are internationally known stylists based out of San Diego who specialize in all styles of swing dance from the 1920s through the 1950s. They brought their high-energy, high-quality, highly entertaining workshops to Hilo, June 2007. As regular teachers at major events all over the world, Joel and Alison's down-to-earth, enthusiastic attitudes are contagious and offer a very personal learning experience, never forgetting that the reason we dance is for FUN!

 

Ruby Red

Chicago, IL • http://dance.ruby-red.com

 

While Ruby’s true love is Blues Dance, she started out dancing on ice and later transitioned to Ballroom, Salsa and West Coast Swing for her first foray into social dancing. A child of the San Francisco Swing scene, she later helped foster the early Blues community that sprung up as a result of late night Lindy parties. When she’s not traveling the world to teach (and learn) dance, she’s building websites, organizing events and pursuing her love of drums and fine Whisky. A fierce competitor, Ruby brings flair, finesse and fabulous form to the performance arena. With extensive training in body mechanics and as a massage therapist, Ruby easily diagnoses technique flaws and creates innovative practice regimens both in and out of class to help all her students excel.

 

Kevin Clark
Albuquerque, NM   •     (Needs Contact)

 

Kevin Clark has been dancing and performing for as long as he can remember, but his introduction to swing came in 2003. Lindy Hop quickly became his number one passion. He has since traveled extensively around the U.S. honing his social and performance dance skills. He emphasizes the rhythm, the flow, and the energy of connection in his dancing and teaching. He is particularly proud of his work with Groove Juice Special and their win in the Choreography Division at the Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown 2009. Kevin studies, teaches and performs based in Albuquerque, NM.  

 

Peter Strom and Christy Vasiliauskas
Minneapolis, MN   •     http://www.uptownswing.net/

 

Swing sensations Peter Strom and Christy Vasiliauskas offered a workshop focusing on Lindy technique in Hilo during May 2004.

Christy V. also organizes the Cowtown Jamborama swing camp in Omaha, Nebraska. 

 

Kate Hedin
Needs Location   •     http://bobbykate.com/

 

Following in the path of her great ancestor, Swedish explorer Sven Hedin, Kate has traveled to greatest unknown regions of following and footwork. She instructed and performed extensively for Cleveland's Get Hep Swing, Atlanta’s Big George, and Washington DC’s The Jam Cellar. Aside from a love of both social and performance Lindy Hop, she has become most known for her unique and elegant style of Balboa.

 

The result is a resume full of impressive dance performances. Kate holds 1st place titles in many competitions and Jack and Jills, including The American Classic Balboa Championship (2009), The International Lindy Hop Championships (Balboa, 2008 & 2009), and she has won or placed in many Lindy Hop competitions and Invitational Jack and Jills. As a teacher, Kate is known for not leaving student followers disappointed.

 

She is proud to have held, along with her friends at Get Hep Swing in Cleveland, the Guiness World Record for longest dance party ever (52 hours, 3 minutes). Her judging is sought by many, her lines desired as far as the Orient. She also climbs trees.

 
 
 

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